Tess of the d'Ubervilles

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Tess of the d'Ubervilles

Daily we as humans face an insurmountable amount of evil in which we usually stumble or fall to. It keeps us from walking perfect lives and becoming blameless and perfect people. It is thrown at us in many different ways often as society. As hard as we may try, we continue to fall back to our primitive, selfish nature. The author of the book, The Great Gatsby, states in the last line of his work: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." In the novel, Tess of the d'Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy agrees with F. Scott Fitzgerald as he unquestionably presents his cynical views of the progression of humankind from primal inclinations.

The novel's heroine, Tess Durbeyville, further proves Hardy and Fitzgerald's views of man's undeniable savagery and inability to do anything but recess further into the past. Tess, like many of us, is unable to see numerous threats to her wellbeing thus continually keeping her from success. Through his character, Tess, Hardy makes his opinion known vocally in a paragraph in his novel:

"As Tess's own people down in those retreats are never tired of saying among each other in their fatalistic way: 'It was to be.' There lay the pity of it." (91)

This statement only strengthens and adds truth to Fitzgerald's quote in which he displays the idea that in humanity we only recede further into savagery without ever progressing in morals or ideas. Alec hunts Tess and she never stands for herself. She continually lets him get away with stealing a "cursory kiss" (88) and "clasping his arm round her" (87) without expressing any further negative. So into the rut we fall: Predator stalks his prey while the prey stands helplessly by. Unable to...

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... strong man, would plead her case and explain his fault. Whether it would have helped or not he would have tried in some way to intercede for her. He does one commendable thing before falling back to his savagery by commanding the authorities to let her finish her sleep. The as she awakens he watches helplessly as she walks to her death.

In conclusion, we are offered innumerable fact from this literature in which we can base our assumption that Hardy and Fitzgerald had the same view of man and his society. As you read Tess of the d'Ubervilles you will begin to see the many examples of Hardy's beliefs on this subject. The reader could guess that both authors would agree if it were said that if one truly can learn to surpass the flaws of human nature and become pure and blameless, the example of that is not expressed through the characters in this novel.
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